El Dorado HS swimmer breaks 41-year-old record
EL DORADO, Kan. (KWCH) - The saying goes that records are made to be broken. While that may be the case, some last for decades and bring into question whether the saying will ring true. During state championship weekend, El Dorado High School senior Jay Tipton ended his high school swimming career on a high note, setting the new school record in the 100-yard backstroke. It’s a record that stood for 41 years.
Tipton didn’t just break the record.
“The time previously was a 57.81 and I swam a 56.86. Smashed it by almost a second,” he said.
El Dorado Swimming Head Coach Diane Solorio said Tipton chased the 100-yard backstroke record through his high school career.
“To watch this kid work toward this record all four years and to finally get it his second to last swim his senior year was very powerful,” she said.
Tipton had roadblocks along the way. For the past three seasons, the Wildcat swim team was without a pool on campus. The pool broke down in 2020 and since then, has been sitting dry and empty. Currently, the team practices at the El Dorado YMCA.
Away from practice, Tipton was dealing with a shoulder injury and had trouble finding a place to swim during the offseason.
“The pool was broken, our city municipal pool was down and broken, and then the Andover tornado took out that pool. So that was three practice pools in my area that I wouldn’t be able to use,” he said.
Tipton said he’s thankful he and his team can practice at their local YMCA, but some aspects of that pool don’t offer what’s needed for competitive swimming. Still, Tipton persevered.
“We were missing starting blocks at the YMCA, so I focused more of my attention on honing my underwater abilities so I could pick up the slack on my starts,” he said. “Thankfully, it was plenty to break the record.”
Tipton said his coach also couldn’t use a whistle at the YMCA pool for practice. The whistle is a necessary tool to train reaction time. Tipton said through it all, he learned a lot about himself.
“Most of the time, I have a lot more in the tank than I think. I can push a lot more harder than I think I can,” he said.
While Tipton’s record shattered a 41-year mark, the old saying comes up with the new record.
“Every record is meant to be broken. Whoever breaks the record, though, needs to have the will, the desire,” Solorio said.
Copyright 2023 KWCH. All rights reserved. To report a correction or typo, please email email@example.com